As we had hoped, the expanded testing we are doing this semester, together with the rollout of vaccination on campus, is allowing us to re-evaluate some of our policies with the goal of offering students greater use of campus facilities and more opportunities to interact. For example, a change to the campus events policy allows more people to gather in-person than at the beginning of the semester.
However, other changes, such as switching a course section’s mode of instruction from remote to in-person, are not feasible at this point in the semester, given that a change in modality would disadvantage those students who are attending remotely and are not in the Madison-area. We will continue to review what may be possible, paying close attention to positivity rates on campus and, importantly, to our progress in vaccinating members of our campus community.
The availability of vaccinations for employees and students on campus continues to depend upon vaccine supplies, as well as on the eligibility guidelines provided by the state and federal governments. Given that much of the campus population waits on vaccine eligibility and availability, masking, physical distancing and limits on gatherings remain critically important.